The Must-Know Features Of Rough Sawn Lumber

Updated: Aug 3

Rough sawn timber is a wonderful commodity to have on hand and is an asset to almost any home you can think of.

If this is your first time working with rough sawn wood and you have decided that the next home improvement project you undertake is going to be built around the usage of this lumber, then you may have quite a few questions about how to proceed with the project. This is a process that can be a little tricky, so to assist you with it, we have developed this helpful guide to help you navigate the distinctive qualities of rough sawn wood.


What Is Rough Sawn Wood?


Rough sawn lumber is lumber that has been cut without first being planed or surfaced. This leaves the lumber with a rough, textured surface. Rough sawn wood is often used for construction purposes, as it is more durable than smooth lumber. Board foot is a unit of measurement used for rough cut lumber and refers to the total volume of wood, compared to square foot which is used for finished product and relates to the measurement of just the final surface area.


When buying rough sawn lumber, it's important to know how much you need. The amount of rough cut lumber you'll need will depend on the project you're working on. Be sure to measure the area you'll be working on and calculate the number of board feet you'll need before heading to the store.


What Are The Most Common Types Of Sawn Lumber?


Sawn lumber comes in three varieties: flat sawn, rift sawn, and quarter sawn.

Flat sawn timber is produced by chopping logs in a straight manner. Whereas rift sawn timber is cut diagonally across the log, resulting in a piece of wood with more uniform grain. Quarter sawn timber is cut into quarters, creating a piece of wood that is stronger and more stable. Each type of wood has its own advantages and disadvantages, therefore it's essential to pick the appropriate type for your project.


What To consider Before Purchasing Rough Cut Lumber?

  1. Find A Reputable Wood Supplier

The first step is to determine the greatest source of wood in your region. Online reviews and recommendations, as well as referrals from friends and family members who have previously completed similar work are the most straightforward and most reliable resources to use in this process.


2. Know The Right Way Of Measuring Boards

Rough lumber is sold by the board foot, rather than by the length of the wood. Therefore, don’t forget to bring a tape measure with you to the lumber yard so you may do an on-the-spot assessment of the amount of wood you need.


The formula is as follows:

width in inches x length in inches x thickness in inches / 144 = Board Feet

Preventing more serious issues in the future begins with making sure you can accurately measure your timber. Incorrectly measuring wood can lead to a variety of complications, and it can cost you a lot of money. It may sound like common sense, but it is crucial to remember. Before making a purchase, make sure to take a second look at the item's dimensions.



3. Be Wary Of Oval Patterns

Oval patterns are not necessarily a deal-breaker when it comes to the quality of your boards, but they may indicate a shift in grain direction, which may increase the risk of substantial tear-out. In other words, while you are planning the oval, you will be working on one side of it while concurrently moving away from it on the other side.

If you're working with a professional planner, this shouldn't be too much of a challenge; but, if you're working on it on your own, you'll need to use a scraper or hand plane to smooth out the oval rather than sanding it out.


What Would You Use Rough Sawn Timber For?

As a building material, Rough sawn wood is frequently less expensive than finished lumber since it needs fewer steps in the manufacturing process to produce. It may also be utilized to give a project a rustic feel. Rough cut lumber, for example, can be used to make a fence, a building structure, or even a boat. Also, it may be used to make furniture or other woodworking tasks.

This material can also be utilized for purposes other than the construction or renovation of your home’s interior. The natural appearance of these planks makes them ideal for outdoor furniture such as picnic tables, seats, and even swing sets. This wood can also be carved into smaller pieces to create picture frames, bookcases, and other creative objects.


How Do You Finish Rough Sawn Lumber?

Finishing rough sawn lumber is relatively easy. The first step is to sand the surface of the lumber to smooth out any roughness. You can use either a hand sander or a power sander for this step. Next, you'll need to apply a sealer or primer to the lumber. This will help protect it from moisture and stains. Once the sealer or primer is dry, you can stain the lumber as desired. Rough sawn lumber is a great option for those who want a more rustic look for their home. With a little bit of effort, you can create beautiful finishes that will last for years to come.




Rough sawn lumber is perfect for creating a rustic, old-country feel thanks to its natural strength and rigidity, as well as its larger proportions. If you want your home to have exposed beams to produce a traditional woodsman or log cabin feel, then rough cut wood is for you.

We offer a wide selection of wood for you to pick from, and our enthusiastic staff can assist you in making the right choice and choosing the type of wood that is most suited for your next home improvement project. Get in touch with us right now to get started.



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